Chapter 3. Disqualifications of Judges - California Code of Civil Procedure Section 170.1
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California Laws > Code of Civil Procedure > Chapter 3. Disqualifications of Judges - California Code of Civil Procedure Section 170.1
170.1. (a) A judge shall be disqualified if any one or more of the
following are true:
(1) (A) The judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary
facts concerning the proceeding.
(B) A judge shall be deemed to have personal knowledge within the
meaning of this paragraph if the judge, or the spouse of the judge,
or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of
them, or the spouse of such a person is to the judge's knowledge
likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.
(2) (A) The judge served as a lawyer in the proceeding, or in any
other proceeding involving the same issues he or she served as a
lawyer for a party in the present proceeding or gave advice to a
party in the present proceeding upon a matter involved in the action
(B) A judge shall be deemed to have served as a lawyer in the
proceeding if within the past two years:
(i) A party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee
of a party, was a client of the judge when the judge was in the
private practice of law or a client of a lawyer with whom the judge
was associated in the private practice of law.
(ii) A lawyer in the proceeding was associated in the private
practice of law with the judge.
(C) A judge who served as a lawyer for, or officer of, a public
agency that is a party to the proceeding shall be deemed to have
served as a lawyer in the proceeding if he or she personally advised
or in any way represented the public agency concerning the factual or
legal issues in the proceeding.
(3) (A) The judge has a financial interest in the subject matter
in a proceeding or in a party to the proceeding.
(B) A judge shall be deemed to have a financial interest within
the meaning of this paragraph if:
(i) A spouse or minor child living in the household has a
(ii) The judge or the spouse of the judge is a fiduciary who has a
(C) A judge has a duty to make reasonable efforts to inform
himself or herself about his or her personal and fiduciary interests
and those of his or her spouse and the personal financial interests
of children living in the household.
(4) The judge, or the spouse of the judge, or a person within the
third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such
a person is a party to the proceeding or an officer, director, or
trustee of a party.
(5) A lawyer or a spouse of a lawyer in the proceeding is the
spouse, former spouse, child, sibling, or parent of the judge or the
judge's spouse or if such a person is associated in the private
practice of law with a lawyer in the proceeding.
(6) (A) For any reason:
(i) The judge believes his or her recusal would further the
interests of justice.
(ii) The judge believes there is a substantial doubt as to his or
her capacity to be impartial.
(iii) A person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a
doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.
(B) Bias or prejudice toward a lawyer in the proceeding may be
grounds for disqualification.
(7) By reason of permanent or temporary physical impairment, the
judge is unable to properly perceive the evidence or is unable to
properly conduct the proceeding.
(8) (A) The judge has a current arrangement concerning prospective
employment or other compensated service as a dispute resolution
neutral or is participating in, or, within the last two years has
participated in, discussions regarding prospective employment or
service as a dispute resolution neutral, or has been engaged in that
employment or service, and any of the following applies:
(i) The arrangement is, or the prior employment or discussion was,
with a party to the proceeding.
(ii) The matter before the judge includes issues relating to the
enforcement of either an agreement to submit a dispute to an
alternative dispute resolution process or an award or other final
decision by a dispute resolution neutral.
(iii) The judge directs the parties to participate in an
alternative dispute resolution process in which the dispute
resolution neutral will be an individual or entity with whom the
judge has the arrangement, has previously been employed or served, or
is discussing or has discussed the employment or service.
(iv) The judge will select a dispute resolution neutral or entity
to conduct an alternative dispute resolution process in the matter
before the judge, and among those available for selection is an
individual or entity with whom the judge has the arrangement, with
whom the judge has previously been employed or served, or with whom
the judge is discussing or has discussed the employment or service.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, all of the following
(i) "Participating in discussions" or "has participated in
discussion" means that the judge solicited or otherwise indicated an
interest in accepting or negotiating possible employment or service
as an alternative dispute resolution neutral, or responded to an
unsolicited statement regarding, or an offer of, that employment or
service by expressing an interest in that employment or service,
making an inquiry regarding the employment or service, or encouraging
the person making the statement or offer to provide additional
information about that possible employment or service. If a judge's
response to an unsolicited statement regarding, a question about, or
offer of, prospective employment or other compensated service as a
dispute resolution neutral is limited to responding negatively,
declining the offer, or declining to discuss that employment or
service, that response does not constitute participating in
(ii) "Party" includes the parent, subsidiary, or other legal
affiliate of any entity that is a party and is involved in the
transaction, contract, or facts that gave rise to the issues subject
to the proceeding.
(iii) "Dispute resolution neutral" means an arbitrator, mediator,
temporary judge appointed under Section 21 of Article VI of the
California Constitution, referee appointed under Section 638 or 639,
special master, neutral evaluator, settlement officer, or settlement
(9) (A) The judge has received a contribution in excess of one
thousand five hundred dollars ($1500) from a party or lawyer in the
proceeding, and either of the following applies:
(i) The contribution was received in support of the judge's last
election, if the last election was within the last six years.
(ii) The contribution was received in anticipation of an upcoming
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the judge shall be
disqualified based on a contribution of a lesser amount if
subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) applies.
(C) The judge shall disclose any contribution from a party or
lawyer in a matter that is before the court that is required to be
reported under subdivision (f) of Section 84211 of the Government
Code, even if the amount would not require disqualification under
this paragraph. The manner of disclosure shall be the same as that
provided in Canon 3E of the Code of Judicial Ethics.
(D) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section
170.3, the disqualification required under this paragraph may be
waived by the party that did not make the contribution unless there
are other circumstances that would prohibit a waiver pursuant to
paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 170.3.
(b) A judge before whom a proceeding was tried or heard shall be
disqualified from participating in any appellate review of that
(c) At the request of a party or on its own motion an appellate
court shall consider whether in the interests of justice it should
direct that further proceedings be heard before a trial judge other
than the judge whose judgment or order was reviewed by the appellate
Last modified: February 16, 2015